Article

Relapse of major depression during pregnancy in women who maintain or discontinue antidepressant treatment

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 30.39). 02/2006; 295(5):499-507. DOI: 10.1001/jama.295.5.499
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pregnancy has historically been described as a time of emotional well-being, providing "protection" against psychiatric disorder. However, systematic delineation of risk of relapse in women who maintain or discontinue pharmacological treatment during pregnancy is necessary.
To describe risk of relapse in pregnant women who discontinued antidepressant medication proximate to conception compared with those who maintained treatment with these medications.
A prospective naturalistic investigation using longitudinal psychiatric assessments on a monthly basis across pregnancy; a survival analysis was conducted to determine time to relapse of depression during pregnancy. A total of 201 pregnant women were enrolled between March 1999 and April 2003 from 3 centers with specific expertise in the treatment of psychiatric illness during pregnancy. The cohort of women was recruited from (1) within the hospital clinics, (2) self-referral via advertisements and community outreach detailing the study, and (3) direct referrals from the community. Participants were considered eligible if they (1) had a history of major depression prior to pregnancy, (2) were less than 16 weeks' gestation, (3) were euthymic for at least 3 months prior to their last menstrual period, and (4) were currently or recently (<12 weeks prior to last menstrual period) receiving antidepressant treatment. Of the 201 participants, 13 miscarried, 5 electively terminated their pregnancy, 12 were lost to follow-up prior to completion of pregnancy, and 8 chose to discontinue participation in the study.
Relapse of major depression defined as fulfilling Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition] Diagnosis (SCID) criteria.
Among the 201 women in the sample, 86 (43%) experienced a relapse of major depression during pregnancy. Among the 82 women who maintained their medication throughout their pregnancy, 21 (26%) relapsed compared with 44 (68%) of the 65 women who discontinued medication. Women who discontinued medication relapsed significantly more frequently over the course of their pregnancy compared with women who maintained their medication (hazard ratio, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.8-9.1; P<.001).
Pregnancy is not "protective" with respect to risk of relapse of major depression. Women with histories of depression who are euthymic in the context of ongoing antidepressant therapy should be aware of the association of depressive relapse during pregnancy with antidepressant discontinuation.

0 Followers
 · 
161 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is controversy about the use of antidepressant medication during pregnancy. Decisions about their use are affected by understanding the risks of these medications causing pregnancy loss, congenital malformations, neonatal adaptation syndrome, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, autism spectrum disorder, or long-term neurocognitive deficits. Although some research has raised concerns about antidepressants causing harm to the fetus and neonate, other studies have disputed these findings or noted that any risks found do not exceed the risk of congenital problems found in 1% to 3% of neonates in the general population. Untreated depression during pregnancy can also cause harm from poor diet, substance abuse, suicidal behavior, or prematurity. Decisions about the use of antidepressants during pregnancy must be based on a risk-benefit analysis based on the best evidence of the risks of treating or not treating maternal depression.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sex hormones have been implicated in neurite outgrowth, synaptogenesis, dendritic branching, myelination and other important mechanisms of neural plasticity. Here we review the evidence from animal experiments and human studies reporting interactions between sex hormones and the dominant neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA and glutamate. We provide an overview of accumulating data during physiological and pathological conditions and discuss currently conceptualized theories on how sex hormones potentially trigger neuroplasticity changes through these four neurochemical systems. Many brain regions have been demonstrated to express high densities for estrogen- and progesterone receptors, such as the amygdala, the hypothalamus, and the hippocampus. As the hippocampus is of particular relevance in the context of mediating structural plasticity in the adult brain, we put particular emphasis on what evidence could be gathered thus far that links differences in behavior, neurochemical patterns and hippocampal structure to a changing hormonal environment. Finally, we discuss how physiologically occurring hormonal transition periods in humans can be used to model how changes in sex hormones influence functional connectivity, neurotransmission and brain structure in vivo.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 02/2015; 9:37. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00037

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
264 Downloads
Available from
May 26, 2014